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Why Won’t the Centre Pass the Transgender Rights Bill? Madras HC Wants to Know

The Bill, which seeks to end the discrimination faced by transgender individuals in India, has been pending with the Lok Sabha since 2016.

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The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2015, but has been pending in the Lok Sabha since February 26, 2016, the date it was introduced in the lower house. This proposed Act of the Parliament seeks to help extend constitutional rights and end the discrimination faced by transgender individuals in India.

The Madras High Court on Thursday urged the Centre to pass the Bill.

Picture for representation only. Source: Flickr

Justice N Kirubakaran issued a notice to the Assistant Solicitor General, asking when the Bill would be passed, and whether it was possible to consider transgender as a separate special group for the purpose of education, employment and other social benefits, reports First Post.

This comes after the High Court directed authorities to change the name and gender in the school and college certificates of a person who underwent female to male sex-reassignment surgery in 2016.

“Since the issue relates to transformation of female to male and in view of many similar cases reported in the media, it is the Union government which has to take appropriate steps as it alone is vested with the powers to bring out an appropriate Act,” Justice N Kirubakaran said.

The historic Bill, although seen as being problematic by a few, has been welcomed by the transgender community as it is the first private member’s bill to be passed by any house in 36 years (45 years in Rajya Sabha). It aims to end discrimination against a transgender person in areas such as education, employment, and healthcare, and give them the right to ‘self-perceived’ gender identity.

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Written by Deepika Bhardwaj

When she's not resolving conflicts between belief and desire, she's letting her mornings be consumed by Coltrane and leaving her nights in the hands of Hendrix. An average singer and lover of graphic novels, Deepika tries to proper your noun for a living.